Arashiyama is a very popular tourist site in Kyoto, nature and temples make up beautiful scenery, particularly during the cherry blossom and autumn color seasons.
Arashiyama, a pleasant, touristy district is located in the northwestern area of Kyoto City, that most people who visit Kyoto for sightseeing go to. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185) when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. The biggest reason for its popularity is the beautiful scenery. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and autumn color seasons. Another good time to visit is during December’s Hanatoro illumination, when lanterns line the streets and bamboo forest.
The Togetsukyo Bridge is well known Arashiyama’s landmark. It provides a panoramic view of Arashiyama. The bridge is 155 meter long, and it was first built at the begining of the Heian period (9th century).
Many small shops, restaurants and other attractions are found nearby. Arashiyama’s famous bamboo forest and pleasure boats that are available for rent on the river. There are many temples and notable sites relating to history and literature, including Tenryuji Temple.
Explore bamboo forest
Arashiyama’s bamboo forest is probably the most photographed sights in Kyoto. This bamboo forest is designated as a special histrical natural district of Kyoto. Walking under the shade of the towering bamboo, the height of 5 to 10 meters, lined along the both side of the path, you can feel a refreshing sensation.
North of central Arashiyama the atmosphere becomes less touristy and more rural, with several small temples scattered along the base of the wooded mountains. The area north of the Togetsukyo Bridge is also known as Sagano. The Sagano area has a number of temples such as Daikaku-ji Temple, Jojakko-ji Temple with its Taho-to Tower, Nison-in Temple with a statue of Buddha Amida-nyorai, Seiryo-ji Temple with a statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai.
You can enjoy a beautiful canyon on the Hozugawa River Boat Ride and the trolley train that runs along the river, you can more closely feel the nature of Arashiyama, which looks different throughout the year.
Address : 17, Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8385
The fastest access from Kyoto station is the JR Sagano Line. The one way ride to Saga-Arashiyama station takes 15 minutes and costs 240 yen. 10-minute walk from the central Arashiyama.
The Keifuku Arashiyama Line connect Arashiyama with Omiya station in central Kyoto (20 minutes, 210 yen). A short walk from the very center of Arashiyama.
From Kawaramachi or Karasuma station in central Kyoto (Shijo Street), take the Hankyu main line to Katsura station and transfer to the Hankyu Arashiyama line. The one way trip takes about 20 minutes and costs 220 yen. Hankyu Arashiyama station is located on the opposite side of the river, about a 5-10 minute walk from central Arashiyama.
The Sagano Scenic train (嵐山トロッコ列車)
The Sagano scenic train runs along the Hozugawa river to offer breathtaking landscapes. Passengers can enjoy the scenic beauty of cherry blossoms, red maple trees.
Arashiyama Ukai Cormorant Fishing
Ukai is a traditional fishing method in which trained cormorants (large diving birds) are used to catch fish such as sweet fish (Ayu).
This type of fishing has history over 1300 years across Japan.
Visitors can watch the event either from the river banks or get a seat on a boat.
Arashiyama Floating Lantern Event
The lanterns carrying prayers will be floated on the Katsura-gawa river in the darkness. You can see the sight of burning Chinese characters on the mountains and the sight of many lanterns floating mysteriously from here.
Sento-kuyo Candle Festival
“Sento-Kuyo” candle festival is held on at Adashino-Nenbutsu-ji Temple in Arashiyama Thousands of candles are lit up for the departed buried in Sai-no-kawara, the river styx that is said to be between the pure land and this world. illuminated numerous stone images creating pure land scenery.
Kyoto Arashiyama Hana-toro Festival
The historical cultural assets, nature, waterfront, bamboo forest in Saga ”嵯峨”, Arashiyama ”嵐山” district of the city sparkles with holiday illumination.